Saragva Ni Kadhi| Gujarati Drumstick Kadhi

Saragva ni kadhi, a Gujarati dish made using curd and drumsticks (‘saragva’ is Gujarati for ‘drumsticks’), is a hot favourite at our place. One of our Gujarati friends taught us how to make this kadhi, years ago, and I have been making it ever since. The husband loves it, the bub loves it, and so do I. This kadhi is something I prepare often at home, whenever there is sour curd left over. Hey, sometimes I even set extra curd just so I can make this! πŸ™‚ Beloved as this dish is, it was only natural that I chose to make it recently, on the OH’s birthday.

It is a commonly held myth that all Gujarati dishes are sweet, that they have at least a dash of sugar in them. That is SO not the truth. There are a whole lot of Gujarati food items that do not contain any sugar at all. This saragva ni kadhi is one such no-sugar preparation.

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Saragva ni kadhi or Gujarati drumstick kadhi

This Gujarati drumstick kadhi tastes absolutely delish, and is a delight to eat with rotis and rice alike. It is a great way to get those super-healthy drumsticks into your diet, and to make use of any excess curd lying around in your kitchen. What’s more, it is fairy easy to make too, a matter of minutes.

Now, let’s find out how to make saragva ni kadhi, shall we?

Ingredients (serves 4):

For the garnish:

  1. 2 tablespoons oil
  2. 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  3. 2 dry red chillies
  4. 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds (methi)
  5. A pinch of asafoetida (hing)

Other ingredients:

  1. 2 medium-sized drumsticks
  2. 1 medium-sized serving bowl of thick curd
  3. Salt, to taste
  4. Red chilli powder, to taste
  5. 2 green chillies, slit length-wise
  6. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  7. 3 tablespoons gram flour (besan)
  8. A few fresh curry leaves
  9. A few stalks of fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped

Method:

  1. Remove the ends of the drumsticks, and chop them into 2-inch pieces.
  2. Heat some water in a heavy-bottomed pan, and add a little salt to it. Drop in the drumstick pieces. Cook them, covered, on a medium flame, till they are tender. This will take 4-5 minutes. You will need to keep checking on them in the interim, adding more water if required.
  3. While the drumsticks are cooking, get the curd ready to make the kadhi. Take the curd in a large mixing bowl, and add in about 1/2 cup of water. Add the gram flour, salt to taste, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, slit green chillies and curry leaves to it. Mix well, ensuring that everything is well incorporated together.
  4. When the drumsticks are cooked, add the curd mixture to the pan. Keep the flame on medium.
  5. Stirring intermittently, let the curd mixture come to a boil. At this point, turn down the flame to low.
  6. Let the kadhi simmer for about 2 minutes. Meanwhile, get the garnish ready.
  7. For the garnish, heat the oil in a little pan. Add the mustard seeds, and allow them to pop. Add in the fenugreek seeds, asafoetida and dry red chillies. Let them stay in for a couple of seconds, and then switch off the gas.
  8. Add this garnish to the simmering kadhi. Mix well. When the 2 minutes of simmering are up, switch off the gas.
  9. Add in the finely chopped coriander leaves. Mix well.
  10. Serve hot or warm with rotis or rice.

Notes:

  1. Use curd that is slightly sour, for best results.
  2. You may add a dash of sugar or jaggery to the kadhi if you want, but that is purely optional.
  3. I sometimes tear the curry leaves, using my hands, before adding them to the curd. This way, I make sure they are consumed along with the kadhi, and not left on the side of the plate.
  4. Add more or lesser water to the curd, depending upon how thick you want the kadhi to be.
  5. Make sure the drumsticks are just about cooked, and not overcooked.
  6. Do not cook the kadhi for too long after it has reached boiling stage. Overcooking might cause the kadhi to curdle or lose its taste.

Did you like the sound of this Gujarati drumstick kadhi? I hope you will try this out, too!

If you make this kadhi at home, I would love to hear of your version!

 

 

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Chawal Ke Pakode| Leftover Rice Fritters

Recently, for a cooking group that I am part of – called Shhhhh Cooking Secretly Challenge – I recreated a dish that my mother would make often as I was growing up – Chawal Ke Pakode or fritters using leftover rice. She would make these fritters whenever there was extra cooked rice left over, and they would get gobbled up in minutes. In fact, apart from the rice, she would add any leftover dry curry, upma or vermicelli too. πŸ™‚ Best way to use up leftovers, I say.

For the Challenge, I was paired up with another food blogger, who writes atΒ Shobha’s Food Mazaa, who assigned me two ingredients – mixed vegetables and flour. I had to use these ingredients to create something fried, which was the group’s theme for this month. I decided to make this dish I have grown up eating.

Following in my mother’s footsteps, I made the chawal ke pakode with leftover cooked rice, vegetable upma, grated cheese, cauliflower and onion curry. Unlike Amma, though, I added in some taste-makers – amchoor, sugar and garam masala. They made for a beautiful snack on a rainy day and, as always, got eaten within minutes of the making.

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Chawal ke pakode aka leftover rice fritters, my way!

Here is how I made the fritters.

Ingredients (makes about 15 pieces):

  1. About 3/4 cup cooked rice
  2. About 1/2 cup vegetable rava upma
  3. About 1/2 cup cauliflower and onion curry (dry)
  4. 1 small onion, chopped finely
  5. 1 small carrot, peeled and finely grated
  6. 1 cube of processed cheese, finely grated
  7. 3 tablespoons besan (gram flour)
  8. Salt, as per taste
  9. Red chilli powder, as per taste
  10. 3-4 tablespoons sugar, or as per taste
  11. 1-1/2 tablespoon garam masala, or as per taste
  12. About 10 stalks of fresh coriander leaves, chopped finely
  13. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  14. 2 tablespoons amchoor powder, or to taste
  15. 2 pinches of asafoetida powder (hing)
  16. Oil, for deep frying

Method:

  1. Take the oil in a heavy-bottomed pan, and set it to heat on a high flame.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix together all the ingredients except the oil. Mix well, ensuring that all the ingredients are well combined together. You should get a mixture that you can easily shape into balls, without everything crumbling apart. There is, usually, no need to add water.
  3. Make lemon-sized balls out of the mixture, and keep them ready.
  4. When the oil is nice and hot, reduce the flame to medium. Deep fry the balls in the hot oil, a couple at a time, turning sides, till they are well browned on all sides.
  5. Serve piping hot, with chutney of your choice, tomato sauce and/or kasundi.

Notes:

  1. Personally, I think the sugar adds a nice taste to the chawal ke pakode. Feel free to reduce the quantity of sugar or skip it altogether, if it doesn’t sound like a great addition to you.
  2. Basically, any dry leftovers from your kitchen can go into the making of these fritters. I made another batch of these using leftover cooked rice, potato curry, carrot salad, and lemon rice. Those tasted yummylicious, too.
  3. Increase or decrease the quantity of gram flour that you use, depending upon the consistency of your fritter batter. Add just enough to make a mixture that easily shapes into balls, without coming apart in your hands.
  4. You could add any other veggies from your refrigerator to these fritters too.
  5. My mother would pick out the chillies from the leftover upma before making these fritters, and so did I too. Leave them in, if you are okay with them.
  6. Amma would add just salt, red chilli powder and a hint of garam masala, but I went ahead and added some amchoor and sugar too. Take your pick, as far as the spices are concerned. Chana masala or pavbhaji masala instead of garam masala would be a nice touch too, I think.
  7. I used Amul processed cheese.

Did you like this idea of using up leftovers from your kitchen? How do you make use of leftover rice and curries? Tell me; I’m all ears!

Ras No Fajeto| Gujarati Ripe Mango And Curd Dish, My Way

Ras no fajeto is a beautiful, beautiful Gujarati dish made with pureed ripe mango and curd. It makes for the perfect side dish for piping hot steamed rice, with a little ghee mixed in. I love having it with rotis, though, with or without another simple curry on the side.

Traditionally, in Gujarati homes, ras no fajeto is made the next day after making keri no ras (ripe mango puree), so as to make the best use of the mango meat that is still stuck to the seeds after making the puree. The seeds are immersed in a bit of water and squished, so that all the juice gets extracted – this juice is then mixed with curd, besan aka gram flour, sugar or jaggery, curry leaves, green chillies and ginger, and cooked with a few more spices to yield the fajeto. Sometimes, the seeds are cooked too, with the buttermilk, and the lucky eaters get to suck the meat off them, right at their plates. Ingenious, no?

The sweetness of the ripe mango, the sourness of the curd, and the heat of the ginger and green chillies meld together to give this dish a gorgeous flavour. Beautiful as the fajeto is, it isn’t a dish that is really well known in states outside of Gujarat.

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Ras no fajeto, my way!

I prefer using only pureed ripe mango in my fajeto, discarding the seeds. I also like it to be slightly thicker in consistency than that of traditonal fajeto, using more of curd and less of water. So, while you try out this ras no fajeto, do feel free to adjust the quantities of water and curd depending on the consistency that you would like.

Here’s how I make the fajeto.

Ingredients (serves 3-4):

  1. 2 cups semi-thick curd
  2. 1 medium-sized ripe mango
  3. Salt, to taste
  4. 2 tablespoons of sugar or jaggery powder (optional)
  5. 2 green chillies, chopped
  6. A 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped finely
  7. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  8. Red chilli powder, to taste
  9. 8-10 fresh curry leaves, torn
  10. 3 tablespoons of gram flour (besan)

For the tadka:

  1. About 3 tablespoons of ghee
  2. 1 teaspoon mustard seeds (rai)
  3. 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
  4. 2-3 dried red chillies, each broken into two
  5. 2 pinches of asafoetida powder (hing)

Method:

  1. Take the curd in a large mixing bowl. Add in about 1/2 cup water, salt to taste, red chilli powder (if using), turmeric powder, gram flour and torn curry leaves. Whisk well, ensuring that no lumps remain.
  2. Grind the chopped ginger and green chillies in a mixer, adding very little water if needed. Add this paste to the curd mixture.
  3. Peel the mango and get all the meat off the skin and seed. Discard the skin and seed, and puree the meat in a mixer. Add this puree to the curd mixture too.
  4. Whisk the curd mixture well, again, to ensure that everything is thoroughly combined together.
  5. Transfer the curd mixture to a large pan and set it on high heat. Stirring intermittently, cook till the mixture reaches a boil.
  6. At this stage, add in the sugar or jaggery powder and mix well. Turn the heat down to low-medium.
  7. Let the mixture simmer for about 2-3 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the tadka.
  8. To make the tadka, heat the ghee in a small pan. Add the mustard seeds and let them pop. Add the dry red chillies and let them stay in for a couple of seconds. Add the asafoetida and cumin seeds and let them stay in for a couple of seconds. Mix the tadka well and pour it into the simmering curd mixture.
  9. After 2-3 minutes of simmering, switch off the gas. The ras no fajeto is ready! Serve warm with rotis or steamed rice.

Notes:

  1. Use curd that is slightly sour, but not overly so, to make this dish.
  2. Like I said earlier, adjust the quantity of water and curd that you use, to get the consistency you desire.
  3. I prefer using a ripe (firm, not squishy), meaty and sweet Banganapally mango to make this dish. Take your pick of the variety of mango that you’d like to use!
  4. The use of red chilli powder in this dish is optional. Use it only if you feel the heat added by the ginger and green chillies isn’t enough.
  5. You could use either jaggery powder or sugar to make this dish. Both yield delish results.
  6. You could even add a couple of pieces of cinnamon and bay leaves to the tadka. I prefer doing the tadka with just dry red chillies, cumin and mustard seeds.
  7. Home-made curd that is neither too watery nor thick works best for this dish. If you are using store-bought curd that is too creamy and thick, add in a bit more water and use slightly less curd than indicated in the recipe above.
  8. You can do the tadka with either ghee or oil – I prefer it with ghee.
  9. If you would like the ras no fajeto to have a slightly thicker consistency, you could increase the quantity of gram flour you use by a little bit.
  10. Do not cook the fajeto too much after it reaches boiling point – just simmer for 2-3 minutes. Overcooking might cause the dish to curdle and lose its taste.

You like? I hope you will try this out at home too, and that you will love it just as much as we did!

Ugadi Special| Ellu Bella Ice Cream| Tilgul Ice Cream| Lonavali Ice Cream| Creamy Home-Made, No-Eggs, No-Churn Sesame-Jaggery Ice Cream, Without Ice Cream Maker

Not a single summer goes by without me thinking of the gorgeous Lonavali ice cream that is available in small family-run ice cream parlours in Ahmedabad. These parlours specialise in sort-of home-made ice creams, both common flavours like Kesar Pista and Chocolate and some highly uncommon ones, like Lonavali.

Lonavali ice cream, as the name suggests, is a tribute to the famous chikkis of Lonavala. With a faint hint of rose, a gorgeous green colour, a generous dosing of pistachios, and bits and pieces of crunchy sesame brittle or chikki in it, Lonavali would make for a fabulous treat any time of the year. My friends and I would down cupfuls of this green beauty, especially in the hot summer months. Sadly, though, it has been ages since I had a cup of Lonavali – it isn’t available anywhere in Bangalore.

I had been wanting to try out my own version of this ice cream, at home, since ages, but it kept being pushed to the back burner again and again and again. Finally, the experiment happened yesterday, and was a happy one at that. I managed to create an ice cream with sesame-and-jaggery brittle that was very, very close in taste to the Lonavali, and everyone at home loved it to bits. Coincidentally, yesterday was Ugadi, the Kannada new year day, when it is customary to consume ellu (sesame) and bella (jaggery). So, yay to that!

Left: Lonavali aka Tilgul ice cream, Right: The rose-flavoured sesame-and-jaggery revdi I used to make the ice cream

I’ll be improvising on this recipe with time, but, for now, let me share with you the one that I used yesterday. So, here’s presenting to you Lonavali aka Ellu Bella aka Tilgul ice cream!
Ingredients (Makes about 4 servings):

  1. 200 ml fresh cream (I used Amul)
  2. 200 grams sweetened condensed milk (I used Amul Mithai Mate)
  3. A pinch of salt
  4. 1 teaspoon rose essence
  5. 1/4 cup sesame-jaggery revdi (use the large ones that have a rose fragrance to them)
  6. 1/4 cup jaggery powder or to taste
  7. About 2 tablespoons roasted, unsalted, shelled pistachios

Method:

  1. Lightly crush the revdi using a mortar and pestle. Do not make a fine powder, and let large-ish chunks of the revdi remain. You should get chunks of the revdi in your mouth as you eat this dish – that is the whole point of this ice cream! Keep aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, take the condensed milk, cream, salt, pistachios, rose essence, crushed revdi, and jaggery powder. Whisk well, until everything is well combined together.
  3. Transfer the mixture to an air-tight, clean, dry box.
  4. Put the box, closed, in the freezer compartment of your refrigerator. Freeze at maximum temperature for 3-4 hours or until the ice cream is set well. That’s it!

Notes:

  1. I used fresh cream to create this dish, but you could use whipping cream, too. Whipping cream will give you creamier, richer ice cream.
  2. Adjust the quantity of jaggery that you use, as per your taste preferences.
  3. The jaggery will add a slightly salty undertone to the ice cream. If you are not okay with that, use sugar to taste instead. Alternatively, you could use a mix of jaggery and sugar. It is the jaggery and the revdi together that give this ice cream its lovely caramel colour.
  4. I used revdi to make this ice cream because of the hint of roses that they possess. I would strongly recommend using revdi, but if you don’t have them, you could use sesame chikki instead, too.
  5. The Lonavali ice cream in Ahmedabad makes use of sesame chikki, as far as I remember, so I used revdi with sesame too. You could make this recipe using peanut chikki or peanut brittle as well.
  6. This ice cream melts dreadfully fast, in a matter of seconds. It melted before I could bring a cupful of it from our kitchen to the living room, to take a picture! So, remove the box from the freezer only when you are ready to serve the ice cream.
  7. Add green food colour if you want, if you wish for the ice cream to look exactly like Lonavali from Ahmedabad. I skipped that, though.

You like? I would love it if you could try out this recipe at home, and I hope you’ll love it too!

Khakra Bhel| Using Up Left-Overs

We have family visiting from Ahmedabad right now, which translates to a lot of (mostly unhealthy) snacks entering my kitchen,  from my beloved Gujarat. One such snack was a packet of lovely, lovely tomato-flavoured khakras from Sonalben Khakrawala. 

Note that I say ‘was’. There are no more khakras left now. All of them are gone, most devoured happily by the bub and the OH and me. The last few khakras that were left of the packet, I converted into a chaat today.  

The chaat, a totally spur-of-the-moment invention, was much loved by everyone at home. It was delish, making for a nice change from the regular chaats that we are used to. 

Here’s presenting to you the khakra bhel that I made today! 

Recipe:

Ingredients (serves 2-3):

  1. 1 cup puffed rice (pori)
  2. 1/4 cup fine sev (ompudi
  3. 2 tablespoons of spicy green chutney, or to taste
  4. 4 tablespoons of sweet chutney, or to taste
  5. 4 khakras, broken into pieces
  6. 1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped 
  7. 1 medium-sized potato,  boiled, peeled and chopped into small pieces 
  8. A few stalks of fresh coriander, finely chopped 
  9. 1 small cucumber, peeled and finely chopped 
  10. 2 pinches of roasted cumin (jeera) powder
  11. 2 pinches of black salt

Method:

Mix everything together, well. Serve immediately. 

Notes:

1. I didn’t roast the puffed rice that I used to make the bhel. If you have roasted puffed rice, you could use that too. 

2. I used tomato-flavoured khakras to make this bhel. You could use any other flavour you might have, or even plain khakras

3. Roast about 2 tablespoons of cumin till it emits a lovely fragrance, let it cool and grind to a powder. Store this powder in an air-tight box and use as required. This bhel needs just about 2 pinches. 

4. If you don’t have black salt, use ordinary table salt instead. I wouldn’t really recommend that, though. The black salt adds a beautiful fragrance to the bhel

5. Use a tender European cucumber that does not have any seeds. 

6. Here is the recipe for the spicy green chutney

7. Here is the recipe for the sweet chutney

8. Chopped raw mango and tomato would be great additions to this bhel. I skipped these two ingredients, though. 

You like? I hope you will try this out too! 

Bombay Sandwich-Style Paratha Frankie| Using Up Left-Overs

Often, for dinner, I put together these sandwiches with slices of boiled potato and beetroot, onion rings, cucumber and a spicy green chutney. Sometimes there is cheese, sometimes there isn’t. These sandwiches are typically called Bombay Sandwiches because, it is widely believed, they originated in Bombay.

I have often had these sandwiches off a road-side stall near our house in Ahmedabad (the guy used to make some amazing ones, I remember!). Slowly and gradually, watching the guy at work, I learnt how to make these sandwiches at home. In fact, these Bombay sandwiches are one of my specialties, and people say I make them exactly the way street-side vendors in Bombay and Ahmedabad do.

If you are interested in the recipe for the Bombay sandwich, do check it out here.

When I recently came across a video on Awesome Sauce India about using the very same stuffing to make sandwiches with left-over rotis, I got all excited. This was such a lovely way to use up extra rotis, a healthier alternative too! I absolutely had to try out my hands on making them, and I did just that yesterday. I made a few little variations to the original recipe, though, and made paratha-based frankies instead of sandwiches, too. The end result was scrumptious, loved to bits by everyone at home.

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Here is how I made the frankies.

Ingredients:

  1. Left-over whole wheat flour parathas (I used flour ground in the mill)
  2. Onion, peeled and chopped into rounds, as required
  3. Chaat masala, as required
  4. European cucumber (the ‘seedless’ variety), chopped into thin rounds, as required
  5. Capsicum, chopped into long slices, as required
  6. Potato, boiled, peeled and chopped into rounds, as required
  7. Beetroot, boiled, peeled and chopped into rounds, as required
  8. Tomato ketchup, as required (I used Heinz)
  9. Grated cheese, as required (I used Amul)
  10. Butter or oil to toast the frankies, as required (I used Amul butter)
  11. Spicy green chutney, as required (Here is the method I followed to make it)

Method:

  1. Put a thick dosa tava on a high flame, and wait for it to get heated up. Meanwhile, prepare a frankie.
  2. Spread a tablespoon of the spicy green chutney on one side of a paratha, evenly.
  3. Place the paratha on a plate or board, chutney-side up.
  4. Spread a few boiled potato slices in the centre of the paratha, towards one side.
  5. Layer some boiled beetroot slices, onion rings, capsicum pieces and cucumber rounds over the potatoes.
  6. Add some grated cheese on top, as well as a couple of dollops of tomato sauce.
  7. Sprinkle a pinch of chaat masala on top of everything.
  8. Close the paratha, making a semi-circular shape.
  9. Brush some oil or butter on the dosa tava, which should have gotten nice and hot by now.
  10. Place the folded paratha on the hot tava. Cover and cook for a couple of minutes.
  11. Open the cover, and flip the paratha onto the other side. Apply more oil or butter if required.
  12. Cover and cook on the other side for a couple of minutes.
  13. Remove from the tava onto a plate, and serve immediately.
  14. Prepare frankies out of all the parathas, in a similar manner.

Notes:

  1. The original recipe calls for using rotis, but I think they might become a tad too soggy with all the stuffing that goes in. So, I used parathas instead, and was happy with the results.
  2. You could use other vegetables of your choice – like corn, for instance. Other toppings too – like pineapple, olives, mustard sauce or jalapenos – could be used. That said, the stuffing in a typical Bombay sandwich consists only of beetroot, onion, cucumber, potato, tomato and spicy green chutney, sometimes capsicum.
  3. I am not too fond of tomatoes in my sandwiches, so I did not add them. If you like them, of course, you could go ahead and add them too.
  4. Sometimes, when I am in too much of a hurry, I make a simpler green chutney by grinding together just some coriander and green chillies, with a little water. The taste of that chutney, however, is nothing like that of the mint-onion-ginger-garlic-coriander chutney that I have linked up to here. Take your pick!

You like? I hope you will try these frankies out too, and that you will love them just as much as we did!